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    September 23, 2013

    MOVIE REVIEW: VIKINGDOM

    "Vikingdom" is a big and ambitious Malaysian-American production that will serve as an acid test on how Malaysian film industry has truly evolved over the years. Yusry Abd Halim's foray by taking the directorial duty from a script by is not surprising at all. After all, Yusry is well-known for his attempts in making hella-epic productions, occasionally misfire by blunders and campy outputs. One might not easily forgive and forget his 2011's "Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa" which done quite badly in terms of critical reception (IMDB score of 3.8/10).



    Genre: Adventure
    Classification: P13
    Release Date: 12 September 2013
    Running Time: 113 minutes
    Distributor: KRU Films
    Director: Yusry Abd. Halim
    Screenplay: James Coyne
    Starring: Dominic Purcell, Craig Fairbrass, Natassia Malthe, Conan Stevens, Jon Foo

    Plot: In the midst of time comes the clanging of steel against steel, and in a collision of myth and history, there is the "Vikingdom". Based on Viking folklore and the poems they left, "Vikingdom" is a fantasy, action adventure film about a forgotten king named Eirick. Tasked with the impossible odds to defeat Thor; the God of Thunder whom is on a mission to gather key ancient relics; the 'Mjolnir', his hammer from Valhalla, the 'Necklace of Mary Magdalene' from Mitgard, and the 'Horn' from Helheim. This needs to be accomplished before the sinister event of the Blood Eclipse, or else, dire consequences will be faced by all in the realm.
    But you may suspect that with more involvement of international talents in this one as the script provided by James Coyne (Vanished) and lead by Prison Break’s star Dominic Purcell, "Vikingdom" would have the potential to perform a whole lot better! Oh, you are dead wrong. Yusry has learned basically little even to convert this into his first serious affair that will challenge the notion of rampant and typically bad local productions right into our eyes. To be honest, I am not sure if Vikingdom" is merely a joke or simply another poor's man attempt of providing proper campiness.

    As much as I am hoping, badly that this will indeed turns out to be good, I was simply left out cold and disappointed. Every part of the film is bad and it is an understatement. Even at its best, the mood of this subpar production is just mediocre at best. Given the opportunity to tackle the Norse mythology in front of the local audiences who are largely unfamiliar with it, the movie fails to incite enough shears of excitement to the blank-minds. The movie is not interesting at all with sloppy handling of the story department is rather jagged, silly and headless. Some silly moments may works well in 1970s films or even in Austin Power movie. But for a movie that seems to cook it all seriously, this seems unintentionally terrible.

    And if the story is not bad enough, wait till you see more stuffs incoming. For instance, on how the movie handles the emotional depth, story realism and credible dialogues without fail to look campy, hammy and laughable, is simply mesmerizing. But hey, suspends your realistic hope and Hollywood expectations for this one, or you might just get even more disappointed! Dominic Purcell is unreliable in this one, as he suffered woody performance as the lead protagonist King Eirick. Conan Steven’s Thor looks like some villain dude from WWE – in fact he was a retired wrestler! Natassia Malthe’s Brynna is unconvincing yet passable! Jesse Moss’ Frey looks like a floatable drag, how is that? And don’t let me go with the fake CGIs.

    “Vikingdom” is bad, but is probably still a fraction better than that “Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa”, at least. If you think you are watching “300” or “Immortals”, you are dead wrong again! But in disguise of the many heaps of ultimate bad moments, the movie is still packed with some good moments, in paradoxical of course. Some of the fighting skills as shown in the movie are amazing, though. Craig Fairbrass' role as Sven, Eirick's sidekick is the best part of the movie and Jon Foo's Yang could have play more vital parts for the movie. But alas, "Vikingdom" falls on the same pit where fellow "HMM" fell in too.

    MY RATING:
    Story: 1.5
    Casts: 2.5
    Cinematography: 2.5
    Effects: 2.5
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 7.8/20.0
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